The town of Vladimir can be called an ancient capital of Russia in 1243—1389, after the fall of Kiev and before the rise of Moscow. Until the middle of XIV century Vladimir was the administrative, cultural and religious center of the North – Eastern Russia, It was located at the heart of a powerful principality, which formed the base of a Russian State. At that time the most important Rus princes (from Vladimir, Moscow, Tver or other principalities) beared the title of the Grand Prince of Vladimir and were crowned in Vladimir's Cathedral of the Dormition. From XV century it is a provincial town and the administrative center of the province. Vladimir was founded in 1108 (several historians have proposed 990) as a fortress on the left bank of Klyazma river by Prince Vladimir II Monomakh. The Golden Age of the town was at the end of XII – beginning of XIII centuries, the Vladimir-Suzdal whitestone architecture of that time is a brilliant examples of medieval architectural thought. After the invasion of Mongol-Tatars of the Golden Horde in 1238 the town never fully recovered, the town also suffered from fire. However, surviving buildings, including Cathedral of the Dormition, the Golden Gate, and others are the monuments of outstanding value, now they have been included into UNESCO World Heritage Site as the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, Vladimir building traditions influenced on the Moscow architecture of XIV-XV centuries, including the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin built by the Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti.

Top sights in Vladimir

Patriarchal garden

The story of Patriarchal garden starts from the XVI century. There was no residence of the Patriarch in  Vladimir, but a cherry orchard was specially planted for Metropolitan clergy that came to rest…

Cathedral of Saint Demetrius

The exact construction date of the Cathedral of Saint Demetrius is unknown. Vladimir chronicler, speaking of the death of Grand Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest, mentioned that the Prince created the nice…

Golden gate

In the second half of the XII century five external gates were built in Vladimir, that were used as siege towers with transportation purpose. Only main of them, the Golden gate, used for ceremonial entrance…

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl

In the midst of a water-meadow at the confluence of the river Nerl into the Klyazma river, stands the white-stone Church of the Intercession, one of the most lyrical creations of ancient Russian architects.